I recently read some great counsel from Steve Crider about what happens when you leave a job:
Items you turn in on your last day working at a company:
Laptop, Badge, Phone
Items you don’t turn in on your last day working at a company:
LinkedIn Profile, Connections, Posts, Articles, Videos
Because that stuff is yours.
Yet many of us are nervous to even update our profiles much less create content for fear of what the company, boss, or coworkers might think.
Companies and certain industries have social media policies we must abide by… and rightfully so. Of course we should be thoughtful and respectful.
But there’s no social media policy that can ever say “you can’t keep your profile updated” or “you aren’t allowed to post anything at all…even if it’s not about the industry/company.”
Because your LinkedIn…is yours. And it will stay that way throughout your career.
It may feel scary or awkward, but you owe it to yourself to overcome those emotions, start being a visible member of this network and stop missing out on a world of opportunity.
While Steve refers specifically to LinkedIn, the same is largely true with Twitter, Facebook, and blogging as well. Unless you’re doing it on a corporate page, your personal social media efforts are something you take with you after leaving your job. They’re part of your professional profile and experience.
While I eventually became a full time professional blogger, I originally only started blogging about healthcare IT as a way to show my professional skills. I figured it was a great resume builder and it was. I got a number of job interviews thanks to my blogging. Social media connected me to a wide variety of people that I’d have never met or connected with otherwise. Plus, my efforts to blog about EHR showed a passion for the subject that was hard to convey in a resume.
I know it’s sometimes hard to think about doing social media after a long hard day of work. However, it’s worth remembering that the efforts you make on social media are thing that you take with you once you leave your current position. So, the efforts you make can have a long lasting impact on your career.